Pressing to one side
Day 6 already! The great thing about this challenge is I get to quilt every day or at least get in a little sewing as well as use my camera. But that's not all, I also share some of my quilting tips too. Today's task was to make a 9-patch block and show you why I prefer to press my seams to one side.
First, here is my 9-patch. A 9-patch can be any size and is simply made up of nine patches. This 9-patch is the basic 9-patch, but other 9-patches can be made up of different units as long as they still have the same basic structure resembling nine patches. Notice how neat the joins are between the patches. This can be achieved with no pins!
This photo shows the back of my 9-patch. You can see the seams are pressed to one side or the other. There are several reasons for this. Seams that will meet should be pressed in a different direction so that when the connecting seam is sewn, the two existing seams butt together. This makes for a very neat and accurate join as you can see in my 9-patch above.
Here is what they look like from a side view. I pulled it apart a little so you could see how one seam is pushed towards one side and the second seam to the other. Now when I sew the adjoining seam, both of these will lock together. It saves me using pins and also a lot of time, yet I still get a perfect finish.
There are other reasons why I press to one side. As you can see in the side view, the threads of any seam are not exposed on their own, there is always fabric (the white sections in the photo) to support the seam if for some reason they should wear. That is not so if the seams were pressed apart - the stitches would be exposed. In that case, if the threads should wear through, a hole would form in your quilt.
And one more thing, when it comes to quilting, you can easily stitch-in-the-ditch quilt when the seams are pressed to one side by stitching on the low side of a seam. This strengthens your quilt. When seams are pressed apart, it is not easy to stitch in the ditch. In fact, it actually weakens your quilt as you are stitching down the seam. The needle can easily pierce the thread and weaken it.